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Smartphone Evolution: the Galaxy S series

Last week we took a look at the Galaxy Note series and saw how much it has changed since its introduction in 2011. Looking back, it’s much easier to see how far we’ve come since the initial release of a certain device and see how it has changed, how it’s stayed the same, and at the same time ponder some of the weird choices that manufacturers have made at one point or another. Today, we take a look at the Galaxy S series, the Galaxy S to the Galaxy S5.

Galaxy Evolution
This is the Galaxy S series. / © Flas100, Shutterstock, Samsung, ANDROIDPIT

Asides from Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S series is amongst the most successful smartphones on the market. Already, we’re in the fifth incarnation of this popular series and are already prepared for the sixth one. As it is, the Galaxy S is an inseparable part of the Android landscape and it breaks records year after year.

Galaxy S

In 2010, a device with a single core 1 GHz processor, 4 inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800, and a 5 megapixel camera started it all. While these specs, the original Galaxy S would be laughable given today’s standards, at the time it was the beginning of the real smartphone revolution. When it was first released, TIME Magazine ranked it number two in its coveted “Gadget of the Year”, coming in just behind the iPad. In the first seven months on the market, the Galaxy S sold 10 million units and set the stage for successor after successor.

Galaxy S evo
The smartphone that started it all: the Samsung Galaxy S. / © Samsung

Galaxy S2

Hot on the heels of the success of the Galaxy S, the Galaxy S2 followed the next year in 2011. The Galaxy S2 triggered an avalanche of success that continues to this day for Samsung.  Up until now, HTC has been the biggest player in Android and was one of the companies at the forefront of Android devices. Google must have been paying attention at the arrival of Samsung into the Android market and was to become a continued hardware partner with Google to bring the Nexus series to life with the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus.  To date, around forty million Galaxy S2s have been sold to date with the first ten million only taken five months.

Galaxy s2 evo
Next in line, the Samsung Galaxy S2. / © Samsung

Galaxy S3

The original Galaxy S may have set the stage for Samsung but it was the Galaxy S3 that stole the show: it became one of the most successful smartphone in the world and was the largest design step for Samsung.  In the first three months, twenty million units were sold and it set a new record for four million units sold within twenty one days, which was a former Android record. At the time, the Galaxy S3 came with a replaceable 2100 mAh battery and a quad-core processor that clocked in between 1.4 and 1.5 GHz. 

Samsung premiered the Nature UX on the Galaxy S3 which brought with it water effects on the lock screen and droplet sound effects on the device.  With a 4.8 inch display, it also included software features such as Smart Stay which would ensure the display stayed lit when a user was looking at it. From the Galaxy S3, Samsung knew it had a winner in its hands and the progression to offshoots of these popular devices began with the introduction of the Galaxy S3 Mini.

Galaxy s3 evo
The ground-breaker: the Samsung Galaxy S3. / © Samsung

Galaxy S4

The advent of the Galaxy S4 brought with it new records: four million units sold in four days and ten million units sold in twenty one days. Despite the commercial success and notable praise, there was some definitely some murmuring from the critics stating that Samsung had just pulled an Apple move and repackaged its previous version of its phone.

However, overall, the Galaxy S4 was a success but didn’t make waves like the Galaxy S3 did when it was introduced. Following on the heels of providing offshoot versions of their flagship devices, Samsung also introduced the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4 Active and Galaxy S4 Zoom. They also partnered with Google to release a Google Play Edition of the device which ran pure Android.

galaxy s4 evo
The Samsung Galaxy S4. / © Samsung, ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S5

And here we’ve come to present day with the Galaxy S5. Yet again a commercial success for Samsung, it may not be ground breaking in any manner, but still is a very good smartphone. Samsung has made the device much more durable by giving it dust and water resistance, including a fingerprint scanner, and even a heart rate monitor. Otherwise, little has changed: a replaceable battery is still the norm, microSD support is present, and a polycarbonate and plastic chrome body remains the Samsung staple. With the Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung has chosen the standard course and has cemented itself in providing a flagship smartphone without much innovation and we most likely shouldn’t expect any big jumps or leaps from them and the Galaxy S series.

galaxy s5 evo
And here we are today with the Samsung Galaxy S5. / © Samsung, ANDROIDPIT

(originally by Stephan Serowy of


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  • S3 was the best phone.. The type of hype surrounded when it was launched was extraordinary... I love my S3.... It's still my dialy driver.. With root and custom roms i make my s3 breath a fresh life!!!

  • wkm001 Oct 9, 2014 Link to comment

    The S3 finally brought my wife back from Apple. My S3 felt like my first real smart phone. Bright colorful and big display. Super fast when it came out. Great camera.

  • Yes I loved my Galaxy S. it was my introduction to Android. At the time I had no idea what Android was but I soon learned. The S2 was next. then I switched to the Note Series only because the S3 I thought was the ugliest phone I had ever seen

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